The Su Wen of the Huangdi Neijing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor)


Huangdi neijing (The inner classic of the yellow emperor) was created some time between the Warring States period and the Qin-Han period as a summation of Chinese medical knowledge up to the time of the Han dynasty. It is the earliest surviving work on Chinese medicine. The work is divided into two parts: the Su wen (Basic questions) and the Ling shu (Numinous spindle). After the Han dynasty, each part circulated separately. Su wen is written in a question-and-answer format involving the Yellow Emperor and various physicians of high antiquity. It outlines the understanding of Chinese medicine regarding illness, medicines, diagnosis, and treatment, and has always provided guidance to Chinese doctors in their actual practice of medicine. The editions with commentaries by 8th-century Wang Bing and 11th-century Lin Yi have been followed by later editions. This Jin dynasty edition is significant as the earliest printed edition of this book.

Last updated: January 3, 2018